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Broncos Country grades free agency, so far...

What does Broncos Country think about the first two days of free agency?

Scott Strazzante | Credit: The Chronicle
The Chronicle

Reports coming out of Denver indicated that Payton and Payton Co. were going to be a little reserved in free agency, perhaps looking to sign a few key players and call it good. The first two days have proven those reports wrong.

Almost immediately the Denver Broncos made two big splashes, shoring up their offensive line in the process. Something that Russell Wilson doesn’t really have much experience in. They also would bring in a pass rusher, a blocking tight end, and a running back that has high praise from his previous offensive coordinator regarding his pass-blocking ability.

Through reactions in polls and from comments, I have gathered Broncos Country’s grades for the players that have been signed or resigned so far.

OG Ben Powers

The former Ravens guard was the first domino to fall for the Broncos in free agency, and it was a tone-setter for the following ~40 hours. Seen as a top-5 offensive guard by most, Powers will bring a strong run-blocking game to the front line, and will likely be replacing Dalton Risner. Definitely an upgrade. Moving Meinerz to LG and putting Powers at RG will be a great move for this offensive line. Especially with who will be lining up on the right side of Powers.

Fan grade: A

OT Mike McGlinchey

The Broncos might finally have their guy at right tackle; a position that has been as far from consistent as possible. They have had more than 10 different right tackles at the start of the year since 2013. The last time they had the same guy at the start of consecutive seasons was with Orlando Franklin when he started from 2011-13. And now they might be able to break this curse. The former 49er was inked to a five-year, $87.5 million contract, which could be seen as a team-friendly deal considering what the Chiefs just paid a one-dimensional Jawaan Taylor.

Fan grade: A

TE Chris Manhertz

This move may seem underwhelming due to the first two splashes Denver made on Monday, but Manhertz is a solid signing for this TE corp. There is a decent amount of talent among this position group, but one thing they lack is a legitimate blocker. That is one thing that the former Jaguar is skilled at. While Greg Dulcich is out there catching balls, Manhertz will serve as an important sixth man up front, in both the run and pass game.

Fan grade: B

QB Jarrett Stidham

With Denver choosing not to keep Brett Rypien, there was a roster spot that needed to be filled with a new backup quarterback, and Stidham is that man. He will likely be an improvement over Rypien, as Stidham was one of only two quarterbacks last year that put up three touchdown passes against the 49ers.

Fan grade: B

DE Zach Allen

The move that signaled that Dre’Mont Jones was heading elsewhere and also brought in someone that might be an improvement to the defensive line. Please check out Joe Mahoney’s article that compares the two players. Once again, Joe put out an awesome piece that is an analytical masterpiece. We should be expecting some good stuff out of Allen this season, as he reunites with his defensive coordinator from Arizona.

Fan grade: A

LB Alex Singleton

This might end up being the most important re-signing that Denver will make all offseason. Singleton is coming off of a career year, one where he lead the Broncos in tackles with 163. Josey Jewell was the closest to Singleton but was a whopping 35 tackles behind. Singleton also finished 5th in the league in tackles, and also had six tackles for loss and a forced fumble to his name. It’s a good thing to have him back.

Fan grade: A

RB Samaje Perine

The worst part about this signing is that it may be indicating that Javonte Williams won’t be healthy for the start of next season. Denver makes a move to grab a veteran running back for low money. Perine will be able to serve as a solid cog in Denver’s backfield, and he will definitely be an upgrade in the pass-blocking game among rostered running backs. It’s safe to say that Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone weren’t premiere blockers.

Fan grade: B

FB Michael Burton

Another move that aims to sure up blocking, and one that marks the return of a legit fullback to Denver’s roster. Something that hasn’t been seen since the great Andy Janovich. May we never forget the fun we had watching him. It’s not a sexy move, but a needed one. And he’ll be reuniting with Sean Payton.

Fan grade: B

Overall, Broncos Country thinks very highly of the Broncos in free agency so far. Maybe it’s due to Denver being the highest spender (shout out Walmart money), or it may be because we weren’t expecting much as a fanbase.

Maybe, hopefully, this is the case, it’s actually because Denver has been making some really smart and impactful moves over the first couple of days. Let’s hope that these moves end up looking as good on the field as they currently look on paper.

Current free agency fan grade: A-